Approximately fourteen beer tents at the Theresienwiese fairground in Munich were sans beer-lover... Ferris wheel and other carnival rides came to a halt... and souvenir shops and restaurants serving Bavarian specialties shut down, as the 179th edition of Oktoberfest ended over the weekend.

This year's edition of the Oktoberfest, the world's most famous annual beer festival held in Munich, Germany, closed its doors to beer drinkers on 7 October. Worry not, though, it will be back next year on 21 September.

It rained heavily in Munich on the last day but the inclement weather could not dampen the celebratory spirit. The Bavarian capital bid adieu to the event with a huge celebration featuring dance and music with the same zeal as showed on the opening day of Oktoberfest 2012.

Around 60 shooters in traditional Bavarian clothes fired off salutes during the last day's ceremony at the Oktoberfest. Waitresses wearing the traditional Bavarian dress - Drindl - danced on tables as they served the final steins of beer, celebrating the end of the world's biggest beer festival.

The 16-day long festival, which was declared open with the tapping of the first keg of Oktoberfest beer by the Lord Mayor of Munich, Christian Ude, on 22 September, received millions of beer drinkers from around the world in the last two weeks.

The opening weekend itself saw approximately 850,000 guests from Munich, Bavaria, the rest of Germany and from all over the world and about one million litres of beer and meat from nine oxen were consumed in the first week of Oktoberfest. Overall, Oktoberfest drew 6.4 million visitors. However, the number of visitors dropped from a record 6.9 million last year, according to a Times Live report.

According to festival organiser Dieter Reiter, this year's visitors drank "6.9million 'mass' the one litre beer mugs and ate 116 oxen," the Sky News reported.

Check out photographs of the closing ceremony of Oktoberfest 2012...